Saturday, July 17, 2010

Sample of my writing

    I know, it's been quite while since I posted anything here, but I have lots of excuses, the main ones are visits by cousins from Des Moines, and currently a month-long visit by my two grandchildren.  In fact we just came back from a little vacation to the Big Island - Hawaii.  These family visits are terrific - and I love them all. 
  Getting back to writing about genealogy... Randy Seaver has blogged a Saturday Night Challenge at his blog called "Geneamusings" to find something previously written and go to a website and paste the text into the waiting box.  Then note which author they think my writing is like.  Mine turned out to be like Stephanie Meyer, who wrote "Twilight."  Well, I don't know about that, but it did get me to look back at something I'd written, so I chose a part of my old online journal which I wrote during a solo two-year trip in my conversion van, driving around the United States searching for my roots.
   Here is an excerpt from my "Vagabond Journal" which went on for two years.  What a great experience that was!

1 July 2002   Monday          Niagara Falls, NY & Buffalo, NY
This was the day I’ve been dreading, my trip to the Court House in Buffalo – the traffic and parking were my concerns.  After reserving two rooms at a local motel in Niagara Falls for 8 July (when I’ll try to rendezvous with daughter Alisa's  family, and their dog),  I drove all the way south to Buffalo on Hwy 62.  It is nearly 30 miles of city driving, so there were many stoplights.  I figured I’d try I-190 on the return north.  I zeroed in on the Court House – or the “Erie County Hall” and parked at a place where I had to give them my keys.  They said to be sure to return by 4:30pm or they would be gone, and my keys locked up.  I went through Security to the Surrogate Court with the unhappy government workers who snapped and growled at me.  I left them to find three files on the Eells family and went over to the County Clerk’s immense collection of deeds, maps, and mortgages.  Through the maze of aisles and books I went down in the basement to the earliest records.  From the Grantor and Grantee Indices I found many Eells and Stevens.  I wrote down all the ones I was interested in then returned to the Surrogate Records. 
    “Oh, you were the one that wrote the same case number twice” - and with that the lady fired off a list of rules for looking at the file and disappeared.  You are allowed to request three files per day.  I corrected the case number of one of my three requests and stood around wondering where to return the request slip for action.  I saw no sign posted for returning the request slip, only “Don’t put anything on this counter” and “Advice $1; good advice $4” were among the signs.  When I finally politely inquired where I could leave the request slip, the stressed man barked “Just wait, can’t you see we’re busy.”  He was busy at his computer.  I remembered
back in Rochester, New York, four bored records clerks sitting around doing nothing but chit chatting, at the Surrogate Court.  Buffalo looks like a lousy place to work, as the man obviously needed more clerks and they were too stressed.  Anyway, much later he explained that they were preparing to move the records to “off site storage,” so it would take longer to get the files – he didn’t have any idea how it would work – and he’d appreciate it if I gave him, this afternoon, the request for the three file names I wanted, and wait till tomorrow to pick them up.  No problem.

1 comment:

Jan Everly said...

Hmmm … seems I write like Kurt Vonnegut.